Reinventing the oat wheel.

April 28, 2009

Cooking, Prototype

I feel like some kind of evil genius! Well, not ‘genius’, but an evil tinkerer for sure.

Lloyd’s never been a breakfast person, but he started eating breakfast last year, which makes me happy. It’s a pretty healthy one – an apple, a string cheese stick, and a breakfast bar. The breakfast bar actually came into the picture late in the game. I had bought a million-sized box of them from Sam’s and he left them untouched in the basement for months, then tried one and liked it. So for the beginning of this school year he polished them off one by one, then ran out. The problem is that they were Quaker Breakfast Bars, and Quaker no longer makes them. (I’ve checked everywhere – even the internets.)

I bought some failed replacements that looked chock-full of whole-grain goodness but were actually more like Fig Newtons, and he hated them. (We’re keeping them on hand for survival rations should the swine flu take over Seward.)

Determined to arm myself with the proper buying knowledge, I asked, “What did you like about the Quaker bars?”

Lloyd: “They were full of oaty goodness – like a Quaker had made them.”

Me: “Couldn’t I just make you oatmeal cookies?”

He didn’t answer. I’m sure his silence was because he was so full of joy and anticipation over having my delicious cookies for breakfast he was rendered speechless. I’ve taken things a step further.

Breakfast. Bars.

So, I mixed up a half-batch of cookies, chilled the dough, and made a cranberry-apple filling. I started to pat the dough out in little circles but instantly realized that I was wasting time.
I am not patting out dozens of cookies to put jam in them. Rolling it out between sheets of parchment paper worked much better.
Here’s where I felt most geniusy. – Flip!
Flip! Viola’! Thank you, paper.
Now, I should mention that I foolishly thought it would stay in this perfect breakfast-bar-form while baking. What am I, an idiot? I started writing this post while it was baking, and when it was time to take it out of the oven (about 14-15 minutes later at 350 – Gah!!! That is not attractive! It spread like …. something that spreads!! (In a panic I got out the rest of the dough and frantically thought how I could get it to firm up. “More flour and oatmeal!” I wound up dumping a fair amount of cornmeal onto the dough because it’s in an oatmeal-shaped box. There will be no second batch of bars.)
Oh, well. I cut it into wrong-oriented bars with a pizza cutter, let it cool, and made Lloyd eat one of each. He pronounced the raspberry side ‘a bit too sweet’, the texture ‘just right’, and the apple-cranberry side ‘very good’.
…. maybe he’ll like corn flavor?


About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

View all posts by Lauren

22 Responses to “Reinventing the oat wheel.”

  1. Brad Said on:

    So does this mean you’ve become a Quaker?


  2. Beth Said on:

    Curious. Very curious.

    Will you be mailing out samples in your marketing scheme?


  3. Lloyd Said on:

    I just had the first one, and pronounce it delicious. Best breakfast bar I’ve ever had that wasn’t made by a Quaker.


    • Deanne Said on:

      Have you ever had a breakfast bar made by a quaker (religion, or is it just “friends” now?)? If not, is it the best breakfast bar period?


      • Lloyd Said on:

        My previously preferred breakfast bar was lovingly prepared for my by the Quakers who owned the local oats company. However, they have since retired from the breakfast bar industry to, one would assume, pursue other opportunities.

        It has, however, been some time since I have had their breakfast bars, so I am not, at this time, prepared to give a definitive answer.


  4. Gretchen Said on:

    A grocery insider that I know told me that the breakfast bars were just re-packaged and re-marketed as “breakfast cookies.” I guess great minds think alike.


  5. Jill Said on:

    Um…I’m going to need your recipe. Please. Hurry. So hungry…


    • Jill Said on:

      Never knew I could rock a monocle. Or that my face was pepto pink. Huh. The things you learn on this site.


    • Lauren Said on:

      Personally, I love your monocle, and I think you look smashing in pink.

      If you click the word ‘cookies’, it will take you to the recipe. It’s off of a box of cheap oats, and is magnificent! I don’t know yet if the tinkering with more oats and flour will be helpful, so experiment away!

      (For the filling, I put a tiny handful of chopped craisins in a little bowl, covered them with a little water and nuked for 30 seconds. They sat in that (with a splash of amaretto) while I chopped up half an apple and cooked it in a little water and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.)


      • Lauren Said on:

        Scratch adding more flour and oatmeal. I baked a test batch of the cornmeal-tainted leftover dough and let me just say: Massive, massive, massive fail.


        • Jill Said on:

          Thanks a bunch for the recipe. I’m looking forward to trying the apple/cinn mix with maybe a few pecans? Almonds would be good with…what exactly? I love almonds and will put them in almost anything. I need to brainstorm.

          Upon further reflection, I think the pink w/green background gravatar would be perfect for Beth. Pink…green…what’s not to like?!?


  6. Peggy Said on:

    You are a genius!!!!

    I wonder how it would taste uncooked…maybe you could try slicing off a small piece next time before baking.

    And if time permits, please come up with some really healthy replacements for donuts, Tastykakes, & bread. Sanks!


  7. Annette Said on:

    You’ll make them twice?


  8. Curt Said on:

    Wow!! Those look awesome!! I must try. Not preparing them, eating them.

    Oh, and by the way, I agree. You are a genious!! You are the greatest baker/cook ever!!

    (thought bubble above my head: “I hope all this schmoozing gets me a sample of those bars.”)


  9. Deanne Said on:

    I am super-impressed, Lauren. You are officially my hero!


  10. Michele Said on:

    That looks yummy good and yummy healthy. I might prefer melted chocolate chips inside instead of fruit, but then that takes away the healthy part -- bummer.


  11. Mark Said on:

    Bake a couple of the cookies/bars without the fruit filling, then sandwich white Betty Crocker cake frosting between two of them.

    I’d eat THOSE!!


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